Roll Recovery offers to cover athlete fees for U.S. Trials regardless of affiliation

Roll Recovery, a company that makes massage and recovery tools, has offered to reimburse U.S. athletes the entry fee for the Olympic Trials.

Roll Recovery, a maker of massage and recovery products based in Boulder, Colo., announced that the company will be covering entry fees for athletes at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials on Feb. 13.

Despite it being an Olympic qualifying race, with the top three male and female athletes earning a spot for Rio 2016, the U.S. track and field governing body charges a $30 entry fee to runners. Certain athletes with a fast enough times (A standard) will have travel costs covered by the USATF, the track and field governing body.

“Roll Recovery believes any entry fee is unnecessary when athletes have reached an Olympic qualifying mark and are invited for the opportunity to represent their country in the Olympic Games,” Roll Recovery said in a statement.

The company is offering the choice of covering the $30 race fee or an equally valued credit for one of the Roll Recovery products regardless of affiliation. Adriana Nelson, the company’s co-founder, will be competing at the Trials in Los Angeles next weekend.

Jeremy Nelson, the husband of Adriana, is the founder of the company and had the following to say:

“Having family and staff competing in the Olympic Trials, it strikes me as odd they would have to pay for an event that will be televised nationally and is expected to draw significant revenue. Extending sponsorships, hosting premiere events in mass media markets and gaining broadcasting partners is great for the sport, but shouldn’t some of that success be extended to the athletes competing? After all, isn’t it them we’re watching?”

Roll Recovery’s most recognizable product is the R8, a deep tissue massage roller that can be used without applying the weight of one’s body (like a traditional foam roller).

The U.S. track and field governing body (USATF) recently inked a long-term partnership deal with sportswear giant Nike. The 23-year deal begins in 2017 and is good until 2040. The deal is worth an estimated US$20 million per year according to ESPN.

The original entry list included 168 men and 202 women who qualified for the Olympic Marathon Trials.